VIDEO: Locals passionate to secure future of Great Keppel
IT LOOKED like a small turnout at yesterday's Great Keppel Island anti-development rally, but the passion for the island's future from supporters was far from that.
Especially for Rockhampton woman Cherie Jones, who yesterday told the Morning Bulletin her concerns for development on the island ranged from the "exclusion" of locals to gain job opportunities to erosion on the island.
More than 25 locals attended the rally.
It was staged at the amphitheatre on the Yeppoon Beachfront.
It was organised by community advocate Anne O'connor, who described the upkeep of the island as "appalling".
Cherie jumped onboard the anti-development of GKI wagon more than two years ago, when she moved to the region.
She had turned up to the rally with a strong view that overseas investment into development on the island would result in locals missing out on employment opportunities on GKI.
"These overseas companies would hire their own workers... proponents say development would create 1500 jobs but every time I have asked where these jobs would be, they can't answer," Cherie said.
"Development will cause the continuation of erosion, and there are some real concerns for the fresh water over there... if they develop GKI, it will basically become inaccessible for the ordinary person, who won't be able to go over there for the day.
"On top of that, the Woppaburra people have native rights to the island. If the island is developed they will be pushed out."